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Grom Social is an online social networking website for kids the ages of 5–16 years. It was founded by Zach Marks in November 2012, with the intention of creating a safe and educational social networking site "By Kids for Kids".[2] An app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch is also available, and was released in February 2013.[3]

Website

In order to be signed up, the user must be no older than 15 years and needs to be signed up as a child member. Members also need a parent or guardian 18 years or older to be signed up as a parent member.[4] On Grom Social, kids are able to chat with friends, share pictures, write posts, watch media, play games, be involved in group discussions and use a "Gromatar" as their profile picture.[2]

History

Zach Marks (born June 2, 2000 in Boca Raton, Florida) is the son of Sarah and Darren Marks, and is the second of six children. He was a quiet kid who loved surfing, skating, and motocross, and by the age of 10 years he had a heavy interest in computers.[5] When he was 11, he convinced his dad to let him on Facebook, and despite the site's minimum age requirement of 13 years, he successfully signed on. He had used the account for two and a half weeks, making 683 friends and seeing lots of inappropriate content. One of dad's friends suggested to check Marks' account, which was later deleted. He then created a fake account and got in trouble. Following a heated argument with his dad, he was suggested that if he wanted to be part of a social netowrk, he should make his own.[6][7] The site would later be launched in November 2012.

In February 2014, Big Time Rush actor and Heffron Drive member Kendall Schmidt joined with Grom Social to celebrate its one-year anniversary. He said he was very thrilled of being involved,[8]

Reception

Common Sense Media staff member Polly Conway, giving a 2 out of 5 stars rating, said Grom Social was a safe site, but disliked it due to flaws such as the target audience, difficulty finding specific videos, the "pretty in-your-face and almost too colorful" web design, and the more sexualized female cartoon profile pictures.[9]

References

  1. Gromsocial.com Site Info. Alexa Internet. Retrieved on January 21, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Grom Social Story. gromsocial.com. Retrieved on January 21, 2014.
  3. Grom Socail. iTunes Store. Apple Inc.. Retrieved on May 31, 2014.
  4. Terms of Use. gromsocial.com. Retrieved on January 21, 2014.
  5. The Grom Social Team. gromsocial.com. Retrieved on January 21, 2014.
  6. Ngak, Chenda (February 8, 2013). Grom Social's 12-year-old founder Zach Marks takes on social networking. CBS News. Retrieved on January 21, 2014.
  7. Papadatos, Markos (February 20, 2013). Interview: Zach Marks talks about Grom Social. Digital Journal. Retrieved on January 21, 2014.
  8. Kendall Schmidt Of Big Time Rush Collaborates With Grom Social To Celebrate Its One Year Anniversary. CNW Group (February 18, 2014). Retrieved on May 31, 2014.
  9. Conway, Polly. Grom Social - Website Review. Common Sense Media. Retrieved on January 21, 2014.
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